Art Gone Rogue: An Artist’s Thoughts On Art Along The Rogue
“I guess I had beginner’s luck,” says Cathy Gallatin, People’s Choice Award winner for the 2004 Art Along the Rogue Festival. “I think what it was—to be honest with you—was I had five pictures and I was so nervous I had no idea which one I wanted to do. I remembered what my art teacher told me. He said, ‘K.I.S.S. Keep It Short and Sweet.’”
For two days the city of Grants Pass will transform its Historic District into both a canvas and a music hall for the Art Along the Rogue street art and music festival. Fri., October 6, in the evening, a stage will be erected and people will be treated to live music from a collection of regional musicians. Then Sat., October 7 through Sun., October 8, H Street will be slowly covered in artwork from local and visiting artists, both amateur and professional, as people freely wander and the music keeps playing. Kids will be encouraged to be artists too as 2×2 and 4×4 squares will be made available to purchase, complete with chalk.
Gallatin’s first experience at Grants Pass’ annual street art and music festival, was when she won the People’s Choice Award, that 2004 festival. She kept it short and sweet and chose to make a chalk recreation of the oil painting Proserpine. As a professional artist, Gallatin had never worked with chalk on the street before. After several hours of work on hot pavement, she was exhausted and had cuts on her finger tips. Fourteen years later, she has come back twelve times and still loves Art Along the Rogue.
This will be the 15th anniversary of Art Along the Rogue since its establishment in 2003 by the city of Grants Pass to promote the arts and enrich the community. The event is sponsored by local businesses, free to the public and encourages street artists from everywhere to participate. It also features a back-to-back lineup of bands playing everything from rock to folk to jazz.
“I think that it helps us [the artists] to focus and it does inspire,” says Gallatin, “Music does inspire people. So, I like the two together. I think it’s a great combination.” Gallatin will be returning as a featured participant this festival, in part because she enjoys this fusion of music and visual street art.
Another reason for Gallatin’s frequent participation with Art Along the Rogue is her belief in the event as a strong platform for supporting both the arts and the community. She appreciates the opportunities provided to introduce young people to the arts. Gallatin also appreciates the event as something that introduces the community of Grants Pass, and the greater Rogue Valley, to its own local artists and to artists from the outside, while at the same time making those artists feel like they have a place in that community.
She says, “I think it’s bringing the world closer together as far as communities, people, roots and styles of art.”
Gallatin makes her art with the intention of being thought-provoking and uplifting. She claims William-Adolphe Bouguereau and also Thomas Blackshear II among many other influences and often uses Realist visual styles to communicate spiritual themes that are at times Christian and at times ambiguous.
“I think that people are spiritual beings,” she explains, “and so I believe that there’s more to life than what we see or smell with our five senses. So yeah when I can do that, I do want to do that.”
Every year the Art Along the Rogue has a different theme as an artistic prompt. This year the theme is, “Let’s Face It.” And while Gallatin is unwilling to reveal what her piece will be this year she hints that it could be controversial but also believes it will inspire.
Art Along the Rogue
6 – 9 pm, Fri., October 6, 9 am – 5 pm, Sat., October 7, 9 am – 4 pm, Sun., October 8,
Historic District, H Street, Grants Pass